710.J/3–1048: Telegram

The Ambassador in Argentina (Bruce) to the Secretary of State


256. Depcirtel March 5, 4 a.m.1 Foreign Minister Bramuglia told us yesterday Argentina would have to bring up at Bogotá question European colonies in America with specific reference to Falkland Islands. We explained Department’s position and Bramuglia said it was what he expected Bramuglia said Argentine claim Falkland Islands perfectly valid; British have no reason other than pride for wanting islands; costing British money and British unable defend them. Bramuglia said he and Perón2 convinced war with Russia probably near future inevitable and Argentine possession Falkland Islands indispensable since Argentina would join with the United States on first day of war and Falklands would be only base on which Russia could direct operations against Argentina, one of food supplying centers world. He said Argentina considers Falkland question entirely separate Antarctic region; Argentina is prepared argue Antarctic question but matter real importance is Falkland Islands. He assumed relations England-Argentina would not reach state violence but emphasized Argentine determination. Bramuglia dwelt considerable length on his hope United States would give Argentina some support. Remarked England is in such sad state today, run by Socialist [Page 967] Government, contrary to all our principles, dependent for existence on generosity United States Government, and word from United States would determine final British position.

It seems to us that Argentine arguments make considerable sense and we urge Department give them every possible consideration.

  1. The telegram defined the views of the United States Government regarding an item on the agenda of the forthcoming Bogotá Conference entitled “European Colonies in America”. It was the intention of the United States to adhere to its long-standing policy of not supporting any action by an Inter-American Conference which, by appearing to advance the claims on any one party in a territorial dispute, would prejudice the opportunity for its equitable and peaceful solution in accordance with international law. For an account of the discussion at the Bogotá Conference of the subject of European colonies in America and the position taken by the United States in that discussion, see Department of State, Ninth International Conference of American States, Bogotá, Colombia, March 30–May 2, 1948: Report of the Delegation of the United States With Related Documents (Washington: 1948), pp. 84–86.
  2. Juan Domingo Perón, President of Argentina.